Apple says ‘tears of joy’ face is the most-used emoji

In an overview of its differential privacy technology, Apple slipped in some super important data regarding the popularity of its emojis. The document included an image ranking the top 10 emojis among US English speakers and taking the number one spot was the “face with tears of joy” emoji. The red heart and “loudly crying face” rounded out the top three.

The image is just a simple chart without any real numbers attached, so there’s no telling just how popular that emoji is over all the rest. Really it was just a demonstration of how Apple uses its differential privacy tools, many of which it described in the overview. In it, Apple said, “There are situations where Apple can improve the user experience by getting insight from what many of our users are doing, for example: What new words are trending and might make the most relevant suggestions? What websites have problems that could affect battery life? Which emoji are chosen most often?” But the company said getting that information while maintaining privacy is a bit tricky but key. To do that, it uses its differential privacy technology, which Apple describes as “a technique that enables Apple to learn about the user community without learning about individuals in the community. Differential privacy transforms the information shared with Apple before it ever leaves the user’s device such that Apple can never reproduce the true data.”

Apple says it uses these tools to improve the usability of features like QuickType and emoji suggestions, lookup hints and Safari energy draining domains, among others. You can check out the full overview here.

With the release of iOS 11.1, Apple added over 70 new emojis, and I’m betting the cursing face one will make a run for one of those top 10 spots pretty quickly just based solely on how often I plan to use it. However, iPhone X users will no longer be limited to the selection of static emojis as the company announced in September that the new phone will include the ability to animate a selection of emojis based on what you say.

Image: Apple

Via: The Verge

Source: Apple

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Apple adds wizard, dinosaur and mermaid emoji in iOS 11.1

Hundreds more emoji are coming to your iPhone soon. Apple says it’s adding “more emotive smiley faces” as well as gender-neutral icons, more food and (importantly) mythical creatures — in time for Halloween, we hope. The series is coming to iPhone and iPad with iOS 11.1, which will launch next week, early, for developers and public beta testers. If the emoji additions sound familiar, that’s because Apple had teased these back in July. It appears the company is going beyond the 56 Unicode consortium-approved emoji, but that’s likely explained by skin color and hair variants — we haven’t glimpsed the entire set yet. But now that there’s a gyoza emoji, all is well.

Of course, for those waiting around for those animated emoji, you’ve still got some time on your hands: the iPhone X isn’t out until November.

Source: Apple

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WhatsApp’s new universal emoji set looks very familiar

A few months ago, WhatsApp announced that a billion users send messages on it daily — which is apparently the right time to introduce its own line of emojis. If you’re an iOS user, you might find them familiar, as the messenger’s set looks very similar to Apple’s tiny cartoon images.

The new set of emojis is available in WhatsApp’s beta version on Android that was released today, according to a post on Emojipedia. As Google’s Gboard gets Bitmoji and Apple’s iPhone X turns user facial expressions into their own custom emojis, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp seems to be playing it slow releasing its own. Maybe the messenger app is just weaning its massive userbase away from the iOS versions, one subtly-changed set at a time?

Source: Emojipedia

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The next iPhone creates animated emoji from your facial expressions

You may already know that the next iPhone will use face detection for all kinds of clever tricks, but here’s one you probably weren’t expecting: customized emoji. The 9to5Mac crew has discovered that leaked “gold master” iOS 11 firmware includes references to ‘Animoji,’ or 3D emoji that you create using your facial expressions and voice. Pick one of the familiar non-human faces in the emoji library and it’ll map your eye, mouth and cheek expressions to that character — you can make a robot smile or have a dog raise its eyebrows. Even the poo emoji can be animated. This comes across as a gimmick (we can see many people dropping this once the novelty wears off), but it shows what’s possible now that Apple has face tracking at its disposal. And there’s more to the leak than just emoji.

The scoop also offers more clues as to what the next iPhone can do. The camera will be more powerful, for one thing: in a confirmation of previous leaks, you can shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second, and slow-motion 240FPS video at 1080p. It’ll also have an adaptive True Tone display like on the iPad Pro. The face-based authentication system appears to be relatively advanced, as you have to pivot your head in a circle to make sure it can recognize you from a wide range of angles. And if there was any doubt that the home button is going away, Apple just removed it: apps on the next iPhone have a line at the bottom indicating that gestures are available.

A separate code search by Steve Troughton-Smith may have also revealed the finished name. The brand new, all-screen iPhone appears to be called iPhone X. The revamped versions of the classic design, in turn, would be called the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Yes, Apple may be skipping the “S” naming scheme for the first time since it was instituted back in 2009 with the iPhone 3GS.

There are also mentions of dual-camera iPhone owners getting a Portrait Lighting mode that could alter the perceived lighting of a shot. You could add a stage lighting effect, or add the soft tones of natural lighting to a harshly-lit picture.

Other hints? We’ve already seen references to the LTE Apple Watch, but there’s also evidence of updated AirPods. The only conspicuous change entails moving the charging light to the outside of the case (no more flipping the lid), but we wouldn’t rule out under-the-hood revisions. The one sure thing is that Apple will have a lot to talk about during its September 12th event.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: 9to5Mac (1), (2), S. Troughton-Smith (Twitter)

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Take a peek at the new iOS emoji arriving later this year

If you’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for the 56 emoji approved by the Unicode Consortium last month to hit your iPhone . . . well, you have to wait a bit longer. But for World Emoji Day, Apple has hit us with a preview of what these emoji will look like when they finally arrive.

The emoji include new smiley faces, more diversity options and new animals. There’s the addition of a sandwich emoji (FINALLY) as well as mythical creatures, such as a zombie, and a tiny-armed T-Rex. You can also find emoji for a woman with a headscarf, a bearded man and a woman breastfeeding.

You’ll likely have to wait until the release of iOS 11 to enjoy these emoji on your device. With the release of the Android emoji preview, however, it’s nice that Apple followed suit.

Source: Apple

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Twitter adds all 69 new emoji to its arsenal

Twitter has stepped up its emoji game in a big way. The social network is one of the first platforms to make all 69 Emoji 5.0 icons available to its users, and they include a few new flags, a woman with headscarf, persons with gray hair, the starstruck and the mind blown smiley. Before you fire up your Twitter app to check them, though, take note that there’s a chance you might end up disappointed. The new icons aren’t available on Tweetdeck, the iOS, Mac and the Android Nougat apps just yet, since they still haven’t implemented the Emoji 5.0 standard.

Twitter designer Bryan Haggerty says Apple will likely add support for the new emojis on iOS 11, while Tweetdeck will add them “soon.” For now, you’ll see empty blocks when you try to view the 5.0 icons on those platforms. If you want to use them yourself, though, all you have to do is open Twitter on a browser to emoji-bomb your followers.

Via: 9to5mac

Source: Bryan Haggerty

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Google adds voice typing, Doodles and more emoji to Gboard on iOS

Google’s powerful Gboard app might now be on Android, but it’s the iPhone version that is receiving most of the updates. As part of its most recent overhaul, the search giant has extended support to 15 new countries*, and also added a number of new features that make it easier to say what you have to say.

As of now, users have access to all of the latest emoji in iOS 10. If you don’t remember, one of the most useful Gboard features is the ability to search and find the perfect emoji, allowing you to decorate texts and emails without scrolling through endless lists of icons.

By incorporating search into its keyboard, you don’t need to visit Google.com to find what you’re after and share it. Keeping with this theme, the app now also hosts Google Doodles, notifying you of new additions via the animated “G” button. If it’s moving, hit the icon and Gboard will display more information about the Doodle on that particular day.

Perhaps the most useful feature is voice support. Like the native keyboard, all you need to do is press the microphone and talk. If you’ve used Google’s voice services before, you’ll know that they are pretty reliable, so it might come in handy when you have your hands full or need your eyes fixed on something more important.


*Supported languages include: Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, Catalan, Hungarian, Malay, Russian, Latin American Spanish and Turkish. They can be selected by opening the Gboard app and choosing “Languages”, then “Add Language.”

Via: Google Blog

Source: gBoard (App Store)

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In 2016, emoji kept it πŸ’―

In addition to everything else that happened in tech this year, something small, cute and unassuming wormed its way into your smartphone, your social network and even your MacBook keyboard. While emoji have been around a while, this was the year these pictographs firmly lodged themselves into our lives. It’s become less like immature shorthand and more like another language.

Apple and Google both showed they were both taking the tiny icons seriously. The iPhone’s iOS 10 added search and predictive features for emoji to its keyboard, making it even easier to inject winks and explosions into everything you type. (Apple also added emoji functions to the OLED Touch Bar on its new MacBook Pro.)

Google took it even further, with its latest Android keyboard and gBoard on iOS both including predictive emoji. The company even baked them into its new AI assistant, Allo. The assistant can play emoji-based movie guessing games. In fact, the internet juggernaut has a real emoji crush: In early December, its main Twitter account even started offering local search results if you tweeted an emoji at it.

Granted, the results are … mixed. It won’t be replacing Yelp anytime soon, but it demonstrates how emoji are moving beyond their quick-and-dirty text-message roots.

Quicker access to emoji on your phone also comes at a time when most of our digital interactions (or at least mine) happen through smartphones. It’s become easier to use emoji, and new uses are introduced all the time. GoDaddy launched a service that allows you to create and register website addresses written purely in emoji. It could open a new wave of easily memorable sites — and there’s no shortage of emoji combinations available.

Perhaps the biggest challenge in use of emoji is how open to interpretation many of the pictograms are. More than the written or spoken word, emoji can be easily misunderstood — a fact compounded by the subtle visual differences between identical symbols in different emoji fonts. Send an iPhone emoji to someone using Google hangouts on a PC, and they might not pick up the exact same meaning.

Credit: Grouplens

They can also deliver entirely new uses, beyond the simple word was once meant to represent. There’s a reason for the popularity of the eggplant emoji and it has nothing to do with moussaka.

This vagueness and playfulness is part of their charm; some things are just funnier or easier to say in emojis. Occasionally, they can be haunting:

It’s not all frivolity and euphemisms. Updates to the emoji series attempt to better represent modern culture and society. Unicode’s latest character set for 2016 had a strong focus on gender and jobs, offering dancing bunny-boys and female police officers in an effort strike a better balance between the sexes. It even added the option of a third, gender-neutral option — although that’s apparently proved more difficult to visually express.

This year, Sony Pictures announced that it’s making a CGI feature film based entirely around emoji. It sounds like a terrible idea, but the studio believes it can make money from it. (There might even be more than one movie.)

The effect of emoji has even been noted by one of the world’s most prestigious design museums, with the Museum of Modern Art inducting emoji earlier this year. The debut set of symbols, designed for Japanese phone carrier Docomo back in 1999, is now filed under the same roof as the works of van Gogh and Dali. Used at the time to convey the weather and other messages (in a character-frugal way), the symbols were soon copied by other Japanese carriers, but it took another 12 years before they were translated into unicode in 2010, which Apple then expanded when it launched the original iPhone the following year.

So have we reached peak emoji? The initial set of low-pixel characters totaled 176. Now, at the end of 2016, there’s over 1,300 of them — and no shortage of new suggestions.

Check out all of Engadget’s year-in-review coverage right here

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Apple drops the gun emoji for a friendlier water pistol

The news is awash in the shootings of police officers and unarmed black men, and individuals opening fire in nightclubs and public party events. In an effort to stop promoting gun violence, Apple is replacing its gun emoji with a friendlier-looking water pistol. In place of the old black and silver revolver is a bright green and orange water gun that looks very distinctly like a harmless toy.

Apple also led the decision to remove a rifle from a list of potential additions to the emoji library on all platforms, including Android. Unicode, the organization that handles the character standard, listened to the company’s request, and Microsoft agreed with this decision as well.

Apple has an additional one hundred new and redesigned emoji that will be available to iPhone and iPad users this Fall with iOS 10. These new emoji show women playing more sports and performing jobs that, before this update, only had male options. A few examples are a woman riding a mountain bike, lifting weights, and playing basketball. There will also be redesigns of popular emoji, a new rainbow flag, and more family options.

This is in an effort to bring more gender and race options to existing characters, and Google’s leading the charge. Apple, Unicode, Google, and other companies have the power to promote change, and making important tweaks to a popular way people communicate on their phones is one way to do it.

Source: Apple

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